ChefView – Chopping Block

Chef View By Dana Johnson

Dana~licious on the Chopping Block!

Calling all carnivores!

Chopping Block Butcher Shop and Deli is now open on Coffee and Floyd ready to satisfy the meat lovers of Modesto! Brother and sister owners, John Pallios and Denise Zagaris grew up in and worked their adult lives in the family Richland Market grocery business until the last store closed late in 2012. Not ready for retirement and missing their customers, Denise, John, and John’s wife, Judy, shared in the vision of an old fashioned butcher shop and deli. As far as I know there is no place like it in all of Modesto! So welcome to our grateful community!

So as I walked through the door of this quaint store I immediately had that friendly neighborhood feeling like when I was a kid growing up in a small Bay Area town. The aromas in the air instantly made me hungry. My eyes swiftly fixated on the authentic butcher glass case! Recognizing the all choice meats alongside the prime NY Steak! Oh yes, filet mignon, pork chops, bacon, kabobs, chicken, deep pit roasts, and countless flavored sausages. 29 Chopping Block sausages in all are made right there on site. From the Italian to the Greek, to the unique Merquez, a North African harrisa sausage, as well as the famous Sheboygan Brat of Wisconsin stands out! But wait! More meat choices for me to sink my teeth into! Chopping Block’s butcher, Karl Curnow also makes marinated meats via a special 30 minute tumbling process and vacuum seals in the flavors throughout the meats, making this insatiable carnivore’s taste buds marvel!

Chopping Block also features an impressive array of local products from Modesto, Ceres, and Turlock in the store; Sciabica’s Olive Oil, The Mix chocolate candy, Fiscalini Cheese, Joseph Farms, Sparrow Lane Olive Oil, Bava, Charlie’s Finishing Sauce, peaches and nectarines from Fidel’s, Zoe’s Coffee, and Enzo’s “Red Ass” marinates and rubs. Plus Chopping Block features Brenda Raper’s decadent fresh baked cookies, (John’s favorites), as well as Denise’s very own marinara. Be sure to try the Taboule and Quinoa salads, Denise mixes together for herself for lunch almost every day!

This store offers more than I imagined. Indoor and outdoor seating, BBQ on Fridays, $5.99 daily ciabatta sandwich specials, quiche, 4 varieties of garden salads, grab n’ go meals, picnic baskets, catering, and the coolest cupcake style- lasagna, eggplant parmesan, or meat loaf! If that wasn’t enough meat for you, order the St, Louis ribs and get your fill! I enjoyed a look at the refrigerated dessert section for my next visit!

Modesto View signature question: Beatles or Stones? Denise softly said Beatles, while John hesitated and agreed Beatles but confessed he is a country music fan. I’m usually thinking a lil’ Rolling Stones go a long, long rockin’ way! Just sayin’!!

On August 2, 2013 live on FOX40 News at 9:25am you can see me, Dana~licious with Denise Zagaris doing my regularly scheduled monthly cooking segment. I will feature Chopping Block’s incredible sausages with my own original recipes that you can create at home. If you miss the live segment you can see it on Facebook at Dana’s Family Kitchen or on Dana Johnson FOX40! To live well is to dine well, author unknown.

Recipe – Clip and Save Meat Marinara from Chopping Block Butcher Shop and Deli 3 lbs Choice Lean Ground Beef 3 links Fresh Italian Sausage (remove from casing) 31 oz jar Exclusivo Wild Porcini Sauce 31 oz jar Tomato Magic Ground Tomatoes 1 cup water Brown ground beef and italian sausage over medium heat in a large pot until no longer pink. Add the Exclusivo, Tomato Magic and water, simmer for 15 minutes.

Chopping Block Butcher Shop & Deli

2625 Coffee Road Suite A

Modesto, CA 95355


Open daily 9am to 7pm



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